Each year still counts. It’s just when you become older, each year passing by becomes a fact and a routine in your life. But for a teenager, each year is supposed to be new. However, why do I feel so old? Why is it that I feel no difference nor notice any change as one year changes to the next except for the ticking of the clock?


Every word that you can come up with that defines as bad would describe that year for me. It was horrible. Just plain horrendous. I won’t miss that year even though I had my most defining moments during it when I look back.

It was when I broke. When depression caught up to me and had me crashing to my lowest point. It was when my family abandoned me and when I radically changed. Even now I’m changing without a clue to what the end result could possibly be. However, even though I remember my 16th birthday last year in tears, I also had an unforgettable experience where I proved to myself that I am strong enough to survive. I can keep myself upright.

During the summer of 2014 I went to Florida for an environmental internship program that I was accepted to months before. For a month I stayed on the Disney Wilderness Preserve, living with six other teenage girls and two mentors while we immersed ourselves into helping the environment. I almost remembered how to really smile then. Where during the weekends we would have days off from work and go to amusement parks or surf. Maybe because I truly could forget everything then. I was so busy physically that when I got home I was to tired to think of anything else and just fell asleep the minute I reached my bed. Especially with the restrictive contact with our families it was like feeling this huge burden lift from my shoulders.

I still close my eyes and remember the real feeling of being just free and happy that month. Even though I had to learn to take care of myself and was the youngest I didn’t feel as hurt as I did before when I was bullied there several times. I truly felt strong.

I was wrong. 2014 wasn’t horrible. It was just more eventful than most years. In fact it was better. In mere seconds when the clock stroke midnight to signal the new year, I knew that even though like every year in my city home of NYC my family chose to spend it before the television in our living room I would no longer think I’m weak and vulnerable. I would no longer justify for others that it was my fault, for the pain I went through…that it was my fault when they chose to hurt me.

I realized that it’s not a lot easier to break apart than it is to come back together. I believe that falling apart is just as difficult as piecing yourself together. It took 16 years of torture for me to shatter to pieces and ten months to begin gluing them back in place. I still have a long way to go and like previous years I won’t wish or decide that this year will be great like I did the last. I just know that like each year it will be memorable in whichever way because that’s what matters.


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